RFID Talk Blog

Wal-Mart’s multi-billion RFID tag order drives optimism in the market

The market for RFID products and services will surpass $6 billion next year, according to a report released today by ABI Research. ABI’s “RFID Annual Market Overview” includes traditional applications such as access control, automobile immobilization, electronic toll collection and e-ID/ID documents as well as “modernizing” applications such as animal ID, asset management, baggage handling, cargo tracking/security, contactless payment and ticketing, RTLS, and supply chain management.

The latest research indicates CAGRs of between 21.7 percent and 28.8 percent for the five primary applications from 2010-2014. Practice director Michael Liard sums up the “big picture” as generally optimistic despite last year’s economic woes, and growing more so.

Emblematic of the industry’s generally cheerful outlook is Wal-Mart’s recent multi-billion unit  passive UHF RFID apparel tag and 15,000+ handheld reader RFP order and its expected U.S. rollout, which some observers believe has sparked renewed interest in RFID for item-level tracking.

“In response to the weakened economy, most RFID and RTLS value chain participants reported reductions to marketing expenditure, staff, and on-hand inventory levels beginning in late 2008 and continuing throughout 2009,” says Liard.

As the end of 2009 approached, however, ABI Research’s conversations with vendors and solutions providers grew more positive – the market was growing, orders were being placed and user interest was picking up across industries. “Overall 2009 continued the forward momentum for both RFID solution providers and the user community,” says Liard. “That trend continues in 2010.”

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